These shops are where people gather to talk about their small town goings on, the latest quilt fabric, the latest patterns, where we go for assistance when we can't get our borders right, where we can learn from others. For another shop to close means we are loosing a great friend, another business is falling to the economic hard times and it means we as quilters, crafters, neighbors didn't do our part to buy locally!
I live in a small town in coastal Washington, everyone in our area is into sports for their children...soccer, baseball & football and it is huge. Everywhere you go, there are car windows with a child's name and their team on it. There is pride in these teams.
However, my grands are not into sports. If they wanted to play, I would let them, but they have never asked. They are into music! One plays piano and one plays guitar and I pay for the lessons and ensure they get their practice times in.
A few weeks ago, we HAD 2 music stores in town. One of the stores after being in the same spot for years downsized to a smaller store and the one where my grand took her lessons, where we purchased her music and guitar from....was there one day and shut and empty the next. This is what happens when we don't purchase locally, when we spend money some place else and sadly, we are the losers!
Do you always head to the 'BIG BOX STORE,' when you need tools or hardware supplies or do you think of running to your locally owned store because the owner attends your church, is your neighbor? Do you have what I call, 'WalMart,' mentality for everything you purchase? Trust me on this one, NOT everything in WalMart is a bargain or cheaper than other stores and many times, I have found at Safeway what I needed for cheaper!
Yes, I could do their price comparison, but why? That's what they want, they want to pull us away from our local markets, they want to squash the competition and I can't buy into that. The quality of clothing is awful, their shoes are cheap and therefore your feet will pay for it in the long run!
I am NOT saying don't shop at large stores. In our area we have a Sears & Penney's, I don't want them to shut their doors, so I shop for the grands and my school clothes at these stores over WalMart. I purchase meats and produce from my local market over the higher priced grocery stores and because I love the attention I get in these markets.
I shop at Costco and in Olympia, don't get me wrong as living in a small town, somethings you just can't find, but I do my best to support my local area businesses. I also try to purchase things from estate and yard sales knowing the money goes to help the families in my area.
I do not know why Ruby Jane is closing her doors, but I do know that the residents in her area, will miss her store immensely. I know she will leave a gap in their community as another business shutters its windows. She will leave a gap in the quilting community as another quality fabric store closes. She will leave a hole in many people's hearts.
I worry about my area, the mill just closed leaving 240 people without jobs and many of those were families where everyone worked there, so it isn't just one income they lost, it is 2 or more. As it closes, other businesses will close that were supported by the incomes these people brought in.
It has a domino effect:
- Schools cut programs because they have less students and funding
- Food banks shelves become empty
- Electric bills can't be paid
- Mortgages can't be made
- Homes are abandoned as people leave the area looking for work
- Restaurants close their doors because no one eats out
- Public services are over whelmed because there are more and more people to deal with and less workers
Ruby Jane is leaving, she is closing her doors. Stop on over and say good-bye and since she is having a great sale, pick something up. It will at least support another quilt shop and quilter as they have done their best to hang on by a thread & yes, pun was intended!